Friday, April 20, 2007

Flying through Schiphol Airport

Flying to US from India is no doubt a painful affair, but the entertainment provided by Mumbai airport officials, lack of bawling kids and the ladies loo in Schiphol Airport made it quite entertaining for me.
Arriving at the Mumbai airport, I was relieved to see that Jet Airways had a tie up with KLM and my luggage was checked-in through from Hyderabad to Minneapolis. I heaved a sigh of relief –no struggle to haul my luggage off the belt, instead I had to deal with one of those aforementioned airport officials who went through the routine ‘Do you have any liquids or gels in your bags?’ and when I answered in the negative I noticed that he was busy looking elsewhere pointing to someone named Kim Sharma –now, I wonder why do men who don’t want to watch her on screen are interested at gawking at her at airports while on duty ?

The flight from Mumbai to Amsterdam wasn’t very good – it was boring – there were no bawling babies or fights for the restroom, only horrendous service and of course no guy reading 'Death in Venice’ or any such in the entire flight! **sigh*** And guys complain about not sitting next to any interesting girl - it is an unfair world I tell you!

As I was cursing my luck after landing in Schiphol airport, I suddenly heard a voice from within (in the strictest grandmotherly voice it could muster) ‘Count your blessings’ and count I did, the number of women from different countries who formed a serpentine queue in the airport ladies restroom and the time taken for the makeup application of each of them. An Ethiopian mother of two who was flying to Florence was braiding the kid’s hair, a French business woman was just in her second coat of mascara and a Canadian housewife was busy brushing her teeth – it could have easily been a United Colors of Benetton advertisement. What is it about restrooms in the West which have only a portion of the door –Is it to observe the latest trends in women’s shoes? Or is it a means of forest conservation? Whatever it is, it makes one so uncomfortable after having the comfort of an entire room for oneself in India.
And then there was this McDonalds waiter who talks Tamil to anyone remotely resembling an Indian and a very handsome dutch airport official who was interested in knowing who Pamuk was – pointing to the book I was reading.

So that being the case I can say that the last leg of my journey from Amsterdam to Minneapolis was what I would call mildly interesting - co-passengers who talked incessantly in an alien tongue , and a Swedish father and son who were struggling to find out what ‘US citizen’ meant and I try to help them using sign language.
Of course the most interesting of them all was getting to watch ‘Half Nelson’ and ‘Notes on a Scandal’ on the flight (the DVDs of which haven’t yet arrived at my local Cinema Paradiso)
So now you get an idea of what my next post is going to be about…

11 comments:

zombiee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zombiee said...

an intersting half a flight you had :) looking forward to those new posts on the movies.
Long time no see. I always come by ur place.. havent seen u on my blog in a bit. also meddling with pictures these days than words. and catchin up on some reading :)

Deppe said...

welcome back madame! I think you gave me the idea for the next blog.

TS said...

How was Notes on a Scandal?

And about the *rather* cosmopolitan YET *mildly* interesting experience, don't complain!

I haven't even been to Nepal... ;)

Chimera said...

@zombiee,
i see that u have started two more blogs, interesting.

@deppe
welcome back?? i was thinking i was the only person who found the restrooms here(both Europe n US) weird.

@ts
Judi Dench definetly gives us an Oscar-nomination worthy performance, more on the movie in my next post.
well then ,let me not tell you about my adventures in Belgium, Italy and Switzerland :) (and is my punctuation correct? )

Lotus Reads said...

I love airports and flying for exactly the reasons you mentioned: people watching! I will be flying out to a conference this weekend and the highlight of my trip is going to be the time I spend at the airport...so looking forward to it!

You beat me to "Notes on a Scandal" *grumble, grumble* I will have to watch it soon, in the meantime I await your review!

zombiee said...

they arnt really new.. one is just a redirector to my old blog http://truezombiee.spaces.live.com/
the other yea is something new i started but havnt gotten around to putting it together.

Chimera said...

@lotus reads
being the anthropologist that u r ,i can understand your facination for airports.even i'm flying out this weekend, wondering if there is any chance of bumping into each other :)

@zombiee
it sure does look interesting , do try and post regularly.

A Reader from India said...

I love people watching at Airports too! Enjoyed reading your post.

Chimera said...

havig gotten inspired by Lotus Reader I am all the more becoming airport-friendly person instead of hiding myself in a book.

Lizza said...

You made me curious about the handsome Dutch airport official. :-D

Hey, I appreciate beauty -- be it male, female, or none of the above.

Glad to learn you had a safe, uneventful flight.